The Gradual Manifestation of a Distant Vision

My colleague Kevin has posted recent updates on the current status of nominating a construction agency for building the toilet facilities in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. As mentioned, we are waiting on final approvals from the government and are hopeful that we will soon have a contractor confirmed, following which we can start pre-construction activities at the sites. As such, we are hopeful that we will soon break ground and see the beginning of construction.

This has come after several months of tendering activity. The design team that has worked on the various sorts of toilet facilities, have long completed all the requisite work to begin construction. (more…)

Ensuring Sammaan’s Construction

The sanitation crisis is indeed a multi-dimensional problem – a realisation that gets reinforced and becomes more stark as we move through every new phase of the project. And I am not referring only to the behavioural, demand-led challenges in sanitation but to infrastructure development issues and the economics of it all.

Until now the biggest challenge for us was to get the tenders released – a task that required multiple, inter-dependent approvals and processes to be tackled starting with sites, design, sewage, financials, standard operating procedures of the Government, elections so on and so forth. One of the biggest achievements of the project team in the last six months has been the successful release of nearly all the toilets being proposed; 27 Public toilets of Bhubaneswar were released in early December 2013 and 32 community toilets of Cuttack in early Feb 2014. The remaining 60 community toilets of Bhubaneswar are due to go under the hammer any time in the next two weeks.


Anagram’s Current Activities

The Anagram team has been exceptionally busy the last few months due to the progress being made on getting the tenders released, with construction hopefully set to commence in the coming months once the contracts are awarded.


Sammaan’s Technical Workstream

There has been much written about the hardware tendering process that Project Sammaan has been engaged in with both the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) and Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) over the past year.

I work for Arkitechno Consultants and am part of the technical team of engineers on the project. As such, work broadly on two significant workstreams:

1) Interface with the government to prepare the necessary paperwork to facilitate the release of tenders while addressing any technical questions they may have


Next Iteration of Sammaan’s Identity & Signage

The last edition of the Project Sammaan newsletter saw Codesign finalising and sharing the BoQs for all 14 typologies of the community toilets. That task, once complete allowed us to focus on the more pressing communications challenges, namely the character designs for the facilities’ signage and the main Project Sammaan identity itself.


The Devil is in the Details

The primary focus of Anagram’s work on Sammaan right now involves detailing out the working drawings for each of the facilities. As one can imagine, providing the granular details for each of the 119 facilities being built is quite an undertaking. This is especially so considering that each drawing requires the inputs of several project partners.

A lot of our time is dedicated to interfacing with these partners to ensure that their questions are answered in a timely manner and any necessary changes are incorporated as quickly as possible. Anagram is working closely with CDD on the designs of the sewerage systems, with Codesign to detail out spaces for signage, and with Arkitechno to review and evaluate each drawing. Additionally, we’re reporting into Quicksand along the way to keep them abreast of developments and challenges we’re facing.


Architecture & Design

September, what a month!! Anagram is glad it’s over, as is its work of making good for construction drawings (GFCs) for Cuttack toilet. It was such an amazing month filled with loads of detailing, discussions, management within the in-house design team and the consultants’  decision-making, and refining, refining, refining the designs.

Taking into consideration the lifestyle of an entirely different strata of society in the detailing meant trying to view things from the user’s perspective while keeping foresightedness in mind. This led to the Anagram team working tirelessly and, ultimately, adding more members to the team. This meant that half of the office was working on the project! The doubling of the team was done not only to meet the deadline but also to provide further assistance in refining the designs.


Architecture & Design Status Report

August has been an incredibly busy month for Anagram Architects and CDD. The tender documents were prepared for the 32 Community Toilet sites in Cuttack and Anagram anchored the process of preparing a bulk of this, and compiling that with inputs from CDD and Codesign, for the sewage treatment systems & signage respectively. With this, all the work for the tender stage has been completed for 11 of the Community Toilet typologies.

The first round of the documents were submitted to the CMC, with the support of Arkitechno. Most of the latter part of the August was spent in revising and correcting some of the estimates in order to work towards the total sanctioned amount of the Preliminary Project Report for Cuttack.


Of the Best Laid Plans

Modern sanitation engineering and urban planning were borne out of the strategies adopted by many of Europe’s great cities to manage their urban crises of the 1800s. Creaking, as they were, under the pressures of overpopulation, epidemics, squalor and riots, most cities underwent a drastic spatial and infrastructure overhaul.

The Great Stink of London in the summer of 1858 led to the creation of its sewer network by Sir Joseph Bazalgette and by 1870 the duo of Baron Hausmann and Eugène Belgrand delivered Paris from its perpetual battle against coups, cholera, and congestion. Primarily involving  retrofitting centralised sewerage and piped water supply to existing quarters, it also involved decongesting precincts and clearing built mass in order to improve light and ventilation and mitigate social unrest.


Sammaan’s Architectural Uniqueness

In an earlier post, Khyati from Anagram Architects talked about some of the architectural design principles that will be adopted across the toilets in Bhubaneswar & Cuttack.

Here are some additional features across the 92 community toilets that we will build across Bhubaneswar & Cuttack, that will be unique and will facilitate a better user experience: